The 8th Beach Handball World Championships in Kazan wrapped up on 29 July. Gold medals of the men's event were at stake during the last match of the tournament.
Teams of Brazil and Croatia encountered each other at the crucial game. The final repeated the last game of the previous world championships. Then, two years ago, team Croatia had climbed the podium.
In Kazan, team Brazil gained their revenge. In this dramatic match no one knew till the final second, who would take a crown of the championships. Brazil and Croatia were equally strong during the first set. Finally, the Brazilians managed to claw the first victorious set – 19:18.
The second set was also incredibly tense and dramatic. Team Croatia was leading most of the time, as goalkeeper Dominik Markovc delivered excellent saves one after another. However, the Brazilians were able to catch up and even the score at the second set. The match ended with 20-20 draw, and was continued until the golden goal. Team Croatia had every chances to make it to shootout. The Croats won the throw-in but then Matej Sermen hit the crossbar from a vantage position. This fail cost a chance to win the world championships for team Croatia. Team Brazil seized the ball and struck back with a fruitful attack.
Thiago Claudio scores the deciding goal. Team Brazil are the world champions! For the 5th time in their history the Brazilian team wins the world champion title, and team Croatia settles for silver.
Team Hungary grabs bronze at the world championships in Kazan, as they won team Sweden in the third place match – 2:0.
Text: Artem Lisovsky
Photo: HF/Stéphane Pillaud
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